Monday, July 28, 2008

Bananas - How To Serve Them, part 3

If you haven't gone bananas from all the bananas yet, here's the final installation of the great 1941 booklet, to serve them.

'He put my banana in Jell-O again?' Did you know?: 'Nature seals bananas in a germ-proof package'!

Banana Milk Shake - This is the cutest page of the entire book. The recipe yields a shake large enough to share, but if you have an appropriately sized stool, straws that resemble stilts, and some time to kill, why would you want to?

Serve your hairy grubs and other creepy crawlies with Hawaiian-style Pineapple Sauce! If you want your sauce to ooze with tropicality, drip in a little green food coloring 'to tint the sauce a delicate green.' Add toothpick parasols, and you've got yourself an Insta-Luau (whole roasted pig optional)!

Finger sandwiches make great snacktime in Geometry class. Or, use them for elementary school-age word problems: 'If Jack's sandwich has five banana slices and Sylvia's has four, how tall is Rodolfo?'

Don't Skip These 'How-To-Do-It's'! Includes the enlightening 'How to slice bananas section,' as well as fluting methods. 'How to keep bananas from turning dark,' also looks like a school project: one of those national science projects everyone has to do! You can just imagine the poster board covered in pie charts detailing the effect of the fruit juices on banana coloring!

Once again, if you're interested in viewing more of the illustrations from the booklet, have a look at my Flickr set devoted to these sprightly bananamen!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Bananas - How To Serve Them, part 2

Today we'll continue with the second installment of the to serve them booklet, introduced in this post.

Now, here's a luncheon plan you can take to the bank! Say you've got some bananas and some slices of ham. Why not wrap the ham around the banana and smother it in cheese sauce! Adorable, sign-wielding bananamen agree, 'Cheese Sauce improves your Ham Banana Rolls tenfold!'

As far as banana recipes go, nothing is more standard than a nice loaf of banana bread. What could be more commonplace? While that is true, this is the Volvo of banana breads and deserves to have all eyes travel down its precise angles, beholding its perfect boxiness. In fact, this bread might contain more molded wood pulp than tree fruit.

According to the distressing illustration, recipe 21 should read like a newspaper headline. These aren't drop cookies that contain banana! No, they're cookies that a clumsy banana dropped from high on a ladder! If you fancy a look at vaudevillian bananas, this dazzling stage features not only Banana Juggling Marvels but also an amazing strongman who can lift his weight in banana cookies! And, how's this for a novel idea: 'Enjoy your favorite cereal with sweet, ripe bananas'!

Straight out of Scotland, this irritable scoundrel in kilt and tam-o'-shanter introduces us to the authentic Banana Butterscotch Pie. I love the ring of banana that looks like carved ivory. That's a level of artistry one doesn't normally see in a simple cream pie!

Food of the Gods: Banana Ambrosia

And, finally, here is a page with some exceptional illustrations. Featured on this page is a disturbing depiction of Banana Apple Betty and a bit of rousing artwork for the Banana Tap-Tap-Tap-Tapioca Cream (I could really go for the Shredded Lettuce, Beet and Hard Cooked Egg Salad, too!).

I'll be posting the conclusion to the to serve them series in a few days, and don't forget to check out my Flickr set, especially if you want a close-up view of the glorious illustrations!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Bananas - How To Serve Them, part 1

Last year, I posted two booklets from the Fruit Dispatch Company of New York, a subsidiary of United Fruit (now Chiquita). At the time, I wasn't aware that the company had published so many guides devoted to the world's third most popular fruit. to serve them (1941) is another basic handbook for banana lovers. Stomach churning recipes like Banana Meat Loaf are only the tip of the iceberg; the real draw to these books are the anthropomorphic illustrations. I would love to know the identity of the illustrator because his or her work moves me deeply. For a look at yet another Fruit Dispatch booklet, head over to Dinosaur Casserole and be amazed at the Salad Seer!

Note: This cookbook is so packed with good bits (and 28% of your daily required Vitamin B6), that I'm going to split the book up into three posts. A large amount of bonus (and enlarged) scans of the illustrations will be available in my Flickr set devoted to these banana books. New scans will be added there over the next three posts, as well.

Front cover - Various sweet items.. and Banana Scallops with Ham

Professor Peel says, 'For eating as a fresh fruit...Bananas are best when fully ripe.' And, if you don't want a warning from Sheriff Plantain, you'd better not store your next bunch in the refrigerator!

Baked Bananas can be 'served hot as a vegetable or as a dessert with cream or a hot fruit sauce'!

Mixed Banana Grill

French Fried Bananas In A New Style - Banana Scallops

Rock, Scotch Egg, or Banana Fritter?

Stay tuned for the next two installments of to serve them, and don't forget to check out my Flickr set for a greater array of illustrations and enlargements!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Speak of the Underwood devil..

Today I was perusing the latest Bust magazine (the one that has Amy Sedaris popping out of a cake). I wanted the magazine for the Amy Sedaris article, but, in looking at the rest of the magazine, I spied a familiar logo in an article titled A Stitch in Time by journalist Susan Beal. The logo that caught my attention was none other than the Underwood devil!

A Stitch in Time covers an exhibition of contemporary sewn art currently at the Ellipse Arts Center in Arlington, Virginia (through July 12, 2008). The exhibition, The Thread as the Line: Contemporary Sewn Art, 'exposes the expanding interest in using traditional sewing and embroidery in contemporary fine art'.

Jennifer Boe, an artist who works largely in fiber, is the creator of 'Deviled Fun For Everyone!', a piece that unexpectedly combines meticulous embroidery with a deviled ham sandwich (on what looks like pumpernickel). In the Bust article, 'Deviled Fun' was poised next to 'She's No Angel', an amazingly precise tuna sandwich paired with the Chicken Of The Sea logo.

Not just a pretty lunch, Boe's artwork deals with her:
disenchantment in having been raised to believe that I can do anything I set my mind to but coming to adulthood in a society that won't quite let me...The two sandwich pieces I've made for the show, 'She's No Angel' and 'Deviled Fun For Everyone,' concern not just the foods themselves but the brands, the nostalgia, and the nutritional value or lack thereof. Also, I hope the viewers will ask themselves, 'Who made the food, where was it made, and who was it for?'

The Ellipse Arts Center has a blog, but, while it does cover the exhibition, it doesn't show many of the artist's images. Check out the blog post if you're interested in learning more about the artist, the ideology and influences behind her artwork, and information on the entire exhibition.

I tracked down the pieces I was looking for at the Leopold Gallery in Kansas City, Missouri. Have a look at Jennifer Boe's 'Deviled Fun For Everyone!' (Underwood Deviled Ham), 'She's No Angel!' (Chicken Of The Sea), and her series devoted to Hostess snack cakes ('Let Them Eat Cake I', a Twinkie; 'Let Them Eat Cake II', a Cup Cake; and 'Let Them Eat Cake III', a Sno Ball). All five images can be enlarged by clicking on them. Or, if you prefer, you can view the images in a small slideshow. Slideshow images can be clicked on for further information. Boe's creations are so realistic, and the fact that it is embroidery is still astounding to me! But, I always knew these brands belonged on display!

[Current Chicken of the Sea Mermaid logo courtesy of Chicken of the Sea -- TV Acres shows the metamorphosis of the Chicken of the Sea Mermaid from the 1950s-2000]

Monday, July 07, 2008

Underwood Spreads A Feast

A few days ago, I was looking through an empty recipe portfolio, and, tucked into one of the last pages, I found a little booklet that appeared to have never been opened. My eyes lit up when I spied the Underwood devil logo on the cover. The Underwood devil has been the sign of premium quality spreads since 1870, and Underwood has remained the preeminent brand of deviled potted meats. They certainly have always been the favored brand of deviled potted meats in my house! According to the B&G Foods, Inc. website, Underwood has expanded its production to include spreadable roast beef, sardines, and even non-spreadable potted meats. Underwood Spreads A Feast: 30 new recipes from Underwood Kitchens probably dates from the mid-1970s.

Your next banquet can look like this! Scoops of your favorite meat paste sprinkled with greenery and hard-cooked eggs stuffed with Chicken Spread are just a few of the adventurous snacks to serve at your next fĂȘte.

Deviled Ham and the Chicken and Liverwurst Spreads featuring the classic Underwood packaging. Note the pairing of the bedeviled meat pots with the bacchanalian grape bunch. Balanced lunch or infernal temptation?

Sweet and savory paired in unusual ways! These Glazed Ham & Peach Sandwiches will entice the young with their playful pinwheel simplicity. Bonus recipe (in large version): The Breakfast Sandwich (for teen-agers) knocks the Egg McMuffin off its greasy pedestal!

Chicken Go-Rounds - I generally try not to post too many appetizing pictures on the blog, but I can't see how you'd go wrong with the combination of cottage cheese, tomato, and chicken spread. The addition of the avocado background only makes it more mouth-watering!

Totem Pole Sandwiches are a 1970s take on the long-lost art of canapé making. Are they finger sandwiches or kabobs? It doesn't matter as long as you have them sticking out of a dirty planter!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy 232nd Birthday, U.S. of A.!

There is nothing more all-American than Oscar Mayer. Not even apple pies. The name Oscar Mayer has been synonymous with fine meats for the last 125 years, and it has been at the center of innumerable happy social gatherings. Well, they claim involvement in at least 125 happy social gatherings. No picnic or barbecue is complete without one of their juicy hot dogs or other meats, and, according to Oscar Mayer & Co., Inc, it is best not to attempt to hold such an assemblage without them.

Oscar Mayer CookOut Fun, published in 1959, is the quintessential guide to cooking outdoors with Oscar Mayer brand products, as you'll see. Along the way, we'll discover some intriguing recipes, some okay suggestions, and, most importantly, we'll meet Little Oscar, a little sprite with a yen for cooking in open spaces! Remember that you can click on the pictures for larger images!

There is something undeniably disturbing about this tyke. I mean, I like hot dogs as much as the next person, but this sort of excitement should be reserved for going to the circus or meeting Davy Jones.

This is a still from Disney's classic The Freaky Shaggy Dog starring Fred MacMurray and Maureen O'Hara (both pictured). This romp is about a boy who, after taking the family pet for granted, swaps bodies with the beloved pooch. In this scene, the father is about to toss a grilled frank to the 'boy' (who is actually the dog) to the entertainment of the rest of the family. This is the kind of wackiness (and cloudy iced tea) that one can expect from the delightful Disney films of the era!

Appetites ready? Get set... Gorge...! On Wiener Canoes and Pickle-Dillies! If you're looking for a fancy change, there are certainly enough days left in summer to perfect your own Smokie Grillburger!

If you can't get your head around a holiday that doesn't involve unwrapping packages, stuff your meat and veg in a bundle of tin foil! May I recommend trying the Plantation Packs (sadly, not pictured), a hot dog covered in 'chunk-style' peanut butter! See what fun!

I imagine the Teen-Ager CookOuts of 2008 utilized more iPods and boomboxes than wireless gramophones, but there's one thing that never goes out of style: Oscar Mayer Wieners! Whether classic or 'South-of-the-Border'-style, they will surely set your yard jumping. I like this one bit of advice: 'Alert the neighbors and let the record player blare'!

All hail the mighty Kabob! If you run out of Wieners or Smokie Links, you can substitute Little Frier Pork Sausages and Snack Bologna!

This page does not lie when it claims 'fun foods a-plenty'! Tomato Aspic Salad with mayonnaise and Deviled Eggs (garnished with salami) and the very eye-pleasing tomatoes stuffed with cottage cheese.. as well as Wiener Slaw and Liver Sausage Pickle Dip and Smoky Snax Dip?!!? That's one fantastic Sm"orga"sbord!

Even those who prefer healthier fare should sneak a little meat into their salads! There's nothing wrong with a little German Sausage Salad or Wiener Slaw!

The boy from the cover image grows up. Even though he's graduated to 'two-fisted' sandwiches like the Big Boy and the Smokie Huskie (pictured), he still greets Oscar with a look of tender devotion. In fact, these passionate gazes seem to confirm that line from the Oscar Mayer Wiener song: 'If I was an Oscar Mayer Wiener, everyone would be in love with me.' Note: This picture (and many others) show packaging images from the full line of Oscar Mayer products, including Liver Cheese (with attractive white-edged slices) and New England Brand Sausage (ham-like flavor).

Fun-Sandwiches for the Family Picnic Basket - Featuring hints for Sandwich-Making and a recipe for their Prize Liver Cheese Sandwich. I love the adorable cafeteria-style trays!

When the balmy summer nights make way for crisp autumn eves, try a fireside Cook-In! 'You'll find it an informal, happy experience for all'!

For a little more Oscar Mayer fun, you can view the complete set of scans from the cookbook at Flickr! Happy 4th of July!